Possession of FTD with Intent
If you’ve been charged with illegally using, altering, or possessing a Financial Transaction Device (FTD) such as a debit or credit card, you could face lengthily jail sentences and fines. In some circumstances, your accidental misuse of someone’s—or even your own—card could get you in trouble with the law. At Davis Law Group, we can help you fight your Michigan FTD charges so that you can avoid the fraud penalties and tarnished reputation resulting from a conviction.
It’s Illegal to Steal, Alter, or Possess a Stolen FTD
According to § 150.157n of the Michigan Penal Code, it is illegal to steal or to keep the FTD of another person without their permission. The statute also prohibits people from knowingly possessing a fraudulent or altered FTD.
Michigan Penal Code § 750.157p prohibits the possession of another person’s FTD with the intent to use it, to sell it, or to otherwise distribute it.
Michigan Penal Code § 750.157r states that people who forge, alter, simulate, or counterfeit an FTD will be guilty of a felony.
These statutes do not specify sentences and fines for committing these felonies. In any case, according to a recent Michigan Supreme Court ruling, sentencing judges are no longer required to follow the statutes’ recommended penalties. But even if you receive a light sentence, having even one felony entry on your record can affect your ability to get a job, rent a house, vote, and carry a firearm.
The Penalties for Using a Cancelled FTD
When a person attempts to fraudulently use a cancelled—as opposed to expired—FTD for the purpose of obtaining goods, services, or other things of value, 750.157s of the Michigan Penal Code applies.
- When the amount of goods or services purchased is less than $100, the penalty for committing this misdemeanor can reach 93 days imprisonment and a fine of $500 or 3 times the value of the things obtained—whichever is greater
- For second offenders of the above section, the penalty may be as high as 1 year in prison and/or a fine of $1,000
- If the value of the goods or services is between $100 and $500, the penalty for committing this misdemeanor can be 1 year in prison and/or a fine of $1,000 or 3 times the value of the things purchased—whichever is greater
- For third offenders of the above section, the penalty is a felony that can result in a fine of $2,000 and/or imprisonment for 2 years
- For an offense involving more than $500, the penalty for this felony may be 2 years in prison along with a fine of $2,000 or 3 times the value of the things purchased—whichever is greater.
Using an FTD to Fraudulently Transfer or Withdraw Funds
§ 750.157w of Michigan’s Penal Code concerns the fraudulent use of an FTD to withdraw or transfer funds in excess of its contractual limitations.
- When the amount withdrawn or transferred is less than $200, the crime is a misdemeanor involving a punishment of 93 days in jail and/or $500 or 3 times the amount of money withdrawn—whichever is greater
- For second offenders of the above section, or when the amount withdrawn or transferred is between $200 and $1,000, the punishment can be a 1 year prison sentence along with an optional fine of $2,000 or 3 times the amount transferred—whichever is greater
- For second offenders of the above section, or when the amount withdrawn or transferred is between $1,000 and $20,000, the punishment for committing this felony may reach 5 years in prison along with a fine of $10,000 or 3 times the amount of funds withdrawn—whichever is greater
- For third offenders of the previous two sections, or when the amount withdrawn or transferred exceeds $20,000, the penalty for committing this felony may be as high as 10 years in prison along with a $15,000 fine or 3 times the amount withdrawn—whichever is greater
How a Michigan Criminal Attorney Can Help
The bottom line is that being convicted of any crime involving an FTD can take a heavy toll on your life. In addition to the sentences and fines described above, you may also have to pay back the victims under Michigan’s laws of criminal restitution. Furthermore, the victims can use your conviction as evidence in a lawsuit in civil court after which you may have to pay civil damages.
For this reason, it’s essential to begin working with a trusted and competent lawyer as soon as you are charged with an FTD crime. At Davis Law Group, we can defend your case by:
- Showing that there is reasonable doubt as to whether you committed a criminal act with an FTD
- Demonstrating that you did not act knowingly or intentionally
- Arguing that your constitutional rights were violated during your arrest, detention, and interrogation
- Objecting to evidence of the prosecution’s case on the basis of the rules of criminal procedure and evidence
- Claiming that the evidence against you was obtained through an illegal search and seizure
- Advocating for a lenient penalty at your sentencing hearing based on any mitigating factors that may apply to your case
If you’re facing Michigan FTD charges, call Detroit criminal defense lawyer Maurice Davis with Davis Law Group today for a free and confidential consultation of your case.